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Minister welcomes move to stand down cleric

Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga

Minister for Ethnic Communities
23 November 2016

Minister welcomes move to stand down cleric

Ethnic Communities Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has welcomed the move by the Federation of Islamic Associations to stand down the Imam at the centre of hate speech allegations.

“FIANZ has this morning permanently stood Dr Anwar Sahib down from his position as the Secretary of its Religious Advisory Board. I believe that is the right thing for the organisation to do,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

“New Zealanders are tolerant and peaceful people who reject anti-Semitic and misogynist speeches. As a nation we reject intolerance.”

“I also welcome FIANZ condemnation of any form of anti-Semitic and hate speech. And its rejection of derogatory comments made against women.”

“The Islamic Women’s Council has also unequivocally condemned divisive comments and said the approach shown by Dr Sahib showed religious misinterpretation.”

“Ordinary New Zealanders have written to me saying hate speech should not be tolerated in New Zealand at all and thanking me for taking a stand on this issue. The Human Rights Commission will now investigate.”

“A complaint has been laid with the Human Rights Commission and FIANZ says it will co-operate fully with the HRC.”

ends

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